2 cups long-grain basmati rice
2 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. canola oil
pinch of saffron threads
parsley for garnish
Making the perfect crispy tahdig is both an art and a science. There are just a couple ingredients, but they are magically transformed into something a thousand times better than a regular bowl of rice.
1. Add rice to a bowl and fill with water. Mix well to remove the starch. Strain and repeat until the water runs clear. This helps the grains of rice stay separated after cooking.
2. Add strained rice to a bowl with 2 tbsp. salt. Cover with 2 cups of water. Soak for 30 mins. Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice mixture to the boiling water. Boil for 5-8 minutes until rice is al-dente. If a lot of foam rises to the top, skim it off with a spoon. Strain rice.
3. In a wide-bottomed pot, add the canola oil and saffron threads. Stir. Scoop a layer of rice into the pot and press is down with a spatula. This will be the crispy top layer (the tahdig, which translates to ‘bottom of the pot’). Scoop the rest of the rice on top of the packed layer in a pyramid shape. With the handle of a spoon, make holes in the pyramid to allow the steam to escape. Be careful not to press down to the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook on med-high heat for 10 minutes. This part can vary depending on your stove, so be careful not to burn it.
4. Turn heat to low. Wrap the lid with a towel, cover and cook on low heat for 45 minutes.
5. When you remove the lid, the rice should be making a crackling sound. If you can, carefully check the bottom of the pot to check it the bottom is crispy. The rice on top should be fluffy. If not, cover and cook for 15 more mins.
6. Cover the pot with a flat plate and flip it over. Garnish with mint and parsley and serve as-is or broken in pieces. Great served with saucy meat dishes.